On October 16, 2012, Roosh V officially launched Return Of Kings. The original idea behind the site was to create an “online magazine” that offered content that could be found nowhere else. In 2012, the landscape was basically a wasteland for masculine men. Roosh once told me:
If you think back to 2012, there really wasn’t any content geared towards men that was not infected to some degree with political correctness. Yeah, there were some general-interest blogs dealing with masculine subjects, but there was just something lacking. All the other large sites offered ‘approved’ and ‘filtered’ masculinity in a lukewarm, insipid format. In other words, everything was sanitized to make masculinity acceptable for women. The market was one vast echo-chamber, endlessly repeating the same feminist pablum and neutered masculinity that offered nothing to us except submission and surrender.
I knew I could do better, and I had the men to do it. I didn’t need the permission of the mainstream. I had a vision for what I wanted…maybe the best word to describe it was resonance. I wanted to create something that made an impression, something that spoke to our generation, and something that was absolutely independent from the mainstream. And what we have created here is nothing less than historic. No one helped us: we did this ourselves.
And that was how it all started. If you hit the archives tab at the top of the screen, you can see what some of the early articles looked like back in 2012. Back in those days, ROK had a very personal, intimate feel to it. It was almost as if the writers were sort of “feeling” their way along as they entered uncharted territory. Readers may be surprised by the number of book reviews that Roosh put up in the early months. There were many.
None of the other sites put out the consistent content that ROK did, and none of them attracted the diversity of writers that ROK did. No other voice existed for men who were tired of being lied to, put upon, or forced to feed from the trough of the mainstream media. The reactions of advertisers was mixed. Some of them were willing to take a chance with us; some were not. Some stayed around for a while, and then bailed when the shit hit the fan. The fact that the site is consistently profitable is an impressive achievement in an age when the mainstream media does nothing but lose money.
And this is why they’re losing. And they know it.
ROK exploded onto the scene with a defiant tone, but it’s also important to remember that it ran a wide variety of articles, from those extolling man’s noblest impulses, historic personalities, and struggles for survival, to those articles where bawdiness and hilarity was the point. It was all here. It isn’t easy to do this on a consistent basis, and those who think otherwise should try it for themselves.
The guidance to us writers from Roosh back then was simple: write about what you want. There are no real limitations. See what suits your interests, knowledge, and experience. You’ll do best when you write about the things that you really understand. It must be said that it takes a lot of confidence for a chief editor to allow his staff writers this degree of autonomy. I doubt that any other major website would be willing to take such a risk. But this is the magic of starting a new thing: all the writers were imbued by a degree of idealism—even zeal—that made them want to put out the best product they could.
And the results were sometimes startling, often shocking, and always memorable. The original lineup varied from month to month, but began to take shape within a year and would eventually include such names as Tuthmosis, Athlone McGinnis, Law Dogger, Black Knight, Western Cancer, Edward Thatch, Billy Chubbs, 2Wycked, Samseau, and myself. There were a few other names, but those formed the basic weekly core of material published.
Those who have followed the site over the years will be amused to recall its evolution over the years. The early viral articles by Tuthmosis were followed up by the notorious “Fat Shaming Week.” The next big events were the coverage of Roosh’s lecture tour and the “contested” lectures in Montreal and Toronto. Yet despite these headline-grabbing events, regular readers checked in every day to find consistent, relevant content that spoke to them specifically, without any of the effeminate filters imposed by the mainstream media. As the 2016 presidential election loomed, ROK began to take on more of a political tone, but never lost sight of its core mission.
“What I like about you guys,” one reader once told me, “is that there is no filter. You just put it all out there, and let the reader judge for himself. I can respect that. I may not agree with all of it, but at least we have here something that is like a bucket of ice water dumped on someone’s shoulders.”
Every reader is going to have his own list of favorite articles. I know I have mine. These articles below have stayed in my mind for one reason or another. I thought I’d mention them in case you’ve never read them.
Photograph Yourself In Your Prime. This unexpectedly poignant article by Tuthmosis repeated a message that I’ve found to be confirmed from my own personal experience. It’s something that might seem obvious, but yet it’s something we need to be reminded of. Life can move very fast, and if we don’t take the time to record its key moments, we will regret it later. Sincerity matters, and the reader can sense here that the author is sharing an observation confirmed by the passage of time.
Stop Being Such A Fucking Faggot. I’m probably going to get a lot of heat for praising this article, but so be it. It gets better with time, believe me. Read it out loud or—better yet—read it to a trusted friend or two. It lends itself easily to dramatic readings. There is just something about the rawness, the in-your-face honesty, and the brutal sincerity of this that makes you feel like you’ve had a bucket of ice water dumped on your head. We lost a lot of advertisers over this article. Most of them couldn’t get past the title.
The writer of this piece—the mysterious Loftboy and his Ron Jeremy avatar—only wrote one article for Return Of Kings, and then faded into obscurity. But that one article landed like a bunker-buster bomb. When you really think about it, the gist of this article is applicable to just about everything a man does every day of his life. When is this article’s advice not applicable?
It should be said that this opinion is not shared by everyone. Many readers in the comments section were outraged by the article; some called it puerile, shallow, and nothing more than a ream of juvenilia. But I don’t see it that way. Sometimes in life we have to strip things down to the essentials, and to cut through all the accumulated bullshit and pointless equivocation. The article works because it grabs you by the throat in the opening few sentences and holds your attention right until the last bitter word. Well done, Loftboy.
How To Get Laid On Amtrak Trains. Some of you are going to be scratching your heads when you read this. “What the hell is he talking about? This article is strange as hell.” Yes, it is, and that’s just my point. Where else but at Return Of Kings would you be able to find an article about how to chase women on an actual train? This one stands alone as unique.
There have been so many memorable articles that it’s just impossible for me to list all of them here. But the three listed above are ones that have made an impression on me for one reason or another. Sometimes an article may not be the best one out there, but for some reason it just “speaks” to you. Maybe it reminds you of something, helps recall an experience, or assists you in solving your own problems. That’s why reading is an adventure.
So to Return Of Kings, I say this: happy birthday. It’s been a wild four years. And somehow, I get the sense that things are just getting warmed up.
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